Carborundum Silicon carbide (SiC) is a ceramic compound of silicon and carbon. It occurs in nature as the extremely rare mineral moissanite, only having been found in minute quantities in certain types of meteorite and in corundum deposits and kimberlite. Virtually all of the silicon carbide sold in the world, including moissanite jewels, is synthetic. Silicon carbide is a semiconductor. It is used in many applications, from LEDs, to lapidary, to the grip tape on skateboards, and in high performance brake dics. Collectors are attracted to this mineral for its attractive appearance.
On February 28, 1893, Edward Goodrich Acheson (1856–1931) patented a method for making an industrial abrasive he called “Carborundum” or silicon carbide. On May 19, 1896, Edward Goodrich Acheson was also issued a patent for an electrical furnace used to produce carborundum. The United States Patent Office named carborundum as one of the 22 patents most responsible for the industrial age (1926). According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, “without carborundum, the mass production manufacturing of precision-ground, interchangeable metal parts would be practically impossible.”
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